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    Warlock Guide by PrettyLumiere

    Version: 1.1 | Updated: 11/26/07 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    Neverwinter Nights 2 - Warlock Guide
    v1.1
    PrettyLumiere
    Lumiere-chan@hotmail.com
    
    All rights reserved.  The contents of this guide may be 
    reproduced on other works, provided proper acknowledgement 
    is given.
    
    You may contact me on the e-mail account given above.  
    Please keep your e-mails civil and clean.  I do have a 
    pretty high tolerance for abuse, but please don't test 
    it....
    
    Table of Contents
    -----------------
    I.	Introduction
    II.	Caveats
    III.	Which race?
    IV.	Stats
    V.	Feats to get
    VI.	How do invocations work?
    VII.	Invocations (blast shapes and essences)
    VIII.	Invocations (non-blast shape modifier)
    IX.	Skills to get
    X.	Thoughts on multiclassing
    XI.	Equipment
    XII.	Final words
    
    I.  Introduction
    ----------------
    I'm going to start this by a big bashing of the warlock 
    class, and it's not going to be pretty.
    
    The warlock class in Neverwinter Nights 2 is, in my 
    opinion, a class they made for storyline purposes.  It's 
    not a particularly effective class in any way, shape, or 
    form.
    
    If you want a good analogy with other classes, take the 
    sorcerer, give him/her half the spells, but allow them to 
    cast the spells as many times as they want.  However, now 
    make their spells deal less than half damage, and you have 
    a warlock.  A warlock is in no way more resilient than the 
    sorcerer or the wizard, despite what the manual says (and 
    let's not forget the rampant errors in the manual).  In 
    fact, in my experience, I've found that sorcerers and 
    wizards are a lot more resilient, at least in the beginning 
    of the game.
    
    Basically, don't use your warlock to fight Lorne in the OC.  
    It simply does not work.
    
    Now, for the good news.  If you're patient enough to get 
    your warlock powerful enough to use the dark invocations, 
    you now have a character that will literally stay alive a 
    lot longer than any wizard or sorcerer out there, and allow 
    you to do a lot more damage than most fighters out there.  
    If you couple a warlock with a party full of melee units, 
    you will literally sail through battles with taking very 
    minimal damage.
    
    II.  Caveats
    ------------
    
    This guide assumes you are using version 1.04 or greater of 
    the game.  I also don't talk about multiplayer because I 
    don't play this multiplayer.
    
    III.  Which race?
    -----------------
    
    Since the invocations are Charisma-based, you will need to 
    have that as your primary stat.  Basically, any race that 
    is good as a sorcerer is good for a warlock.  Also, like a 
    monk, the true potential of a warlock is only realized when 
    you get close to all 20 levels, so a race that has a hefty 
    level adjustment is also not a good idea.  Finally, any 
    race that has serious hits in Intelligence, Dexterity, or 
    Constitution is also not a good choice.
    
    a.  Humans:  They are a good choice as a warlock, and the 
    extra feat, although not absolutely necessary, can be used 
    for a crafting feat if you want.
    
    b.  Planetouched:  Both the aasimar and the tieflings make 
    good warlocks.  An aasimar warlock seems a bit out of 
    character, but tiefling warlocks are quite in vogue (and in 
    character).  The +1 level adjustment is not exactly a show-
    stopper as you don't really need the last dark invocation.  
    If you do play as a tiefling warlock, watch out for the -2 
    Charisma modifier, although the +2 Dexterity helps.
    
    c.  Elves:  These are kind of a mixed bag.  Almost every 
    elf sub-race is playing with fire (if you'll pardon the 
    pun) with making a warlock, because you have to work around 
    a -2 Constitution modifier.  Remember that having more hit 
    points is more important than how much dexterity you have  
    The drow also has the +2 Charisma modifier, but the +2 
    level adjustment offsets any advantage.
    
    d.  Dwarves:  Shield dwarves have -2 Charisma, so they're 
    out.  Gold dwarves have a -2 Dexterity, but the +2 
    Constitution makes up for it, so it's a passable.  As for 
    the duergar, the -4 Charisma and the +2 level adjustment 
    don't make for a good warlock (or at the least, a warlock 
    that is unable to cast the needed dark invocations).
    
    e.  Half-elves:  Treat as a human without the extra feat, 
    which makes them acceptable.
    
    f.  Gnomes:  Rock gnomes have +2 Constitution, but -2 
    Strength, plus the fact that they can't carry as much 
    weight.  If you do choose this subrace, buy lots of magic 
    bags to hold stuff.  Svirfneblins are not acceptable for 
    the same reason as duergars are (-4 Charisma, +3 level 
    adjustment).
    
    g.  Halflings:  Both halfling subclasses make acceptable 
    warlocks like rock gnomes, but they do suffer from the same 
    problem of not being able to carry lots of stuff.  Again, 
    buy lots of magic bags.
    
    h.  Half-orcs:  The 2 Charisma AND Intelligence hurts a 
    lot.  You need a lot of the skills that are available to a 
    warlock, or else it's not going to be very fun.
    
    IV.  Stats
    ----------
    
    As I mentioned previously, Charisma is your main stat and 
    most of your points should be there.
    
    Strength:  This stat is not really important because you do 
    not need a high attack bonus to hit an enemy with the 
    eldritch blasts that are ranged touch attacks.  However, it 
    does get annoying when you pick up some nice armor and all 
    of a sudden you can't run.  I suggest keeping this stat at 
    10 or 11, and just leave it there.
    
    Dexterity:  This is the second most important stat.  Since 
    you will be wearing light armor (NOT medium armor unless if 
    you're multiclassing, which I will explain later why), 
    having a high Dexterity score will boost your AC even 
    higher.  Having a high AC is good for a warlock as you will 
    often be casting your invocations at pretty close range.  I 
    suggest keeping this stat at around 13-14.  You should 
    probably not add to this stat when you get the chance to 
    during level up; you should instead find items that boost 
    this.
    
    Constitution:  Yes, you have a d6 hit point die.  No, it 
    does not make a whit of difference compared to a sorcerer 
    or a wizard.  This score, however, does make a difference.  
    I suggest leaving this at 12 at character creation.  If you 
    leave it lower, be prepared to die a lot.  (This also makes 
    elves very unattractive warlocks.)
    
    Intelligence:  Set this score to about 12 as well.  
    Warlocks have a lot of nice skills that will need plenty of 
    points.
    
    Wisdom:  Set this stat to anywhere from 8-10.  You don't 
    need this stat for anything useful.
    
    Charisma:  Get this as high as you can.  I prefer starting 
    out with about 18 Charisma base, and just keep adding to it 
    during levelups when I can add them.
    
    V.  Feats to get
    ----------------
    
    As a warlock, there are not a lot of feats that you don't 
    get by default that you can really use.  The ones that are 
    the most important that you must get are:
    
    a.  Combat Casting  Remember that it is not practical to 
    expect a warlock to always cast invocations far away from 
    enemies.  This helps considerably in not having your 
    invocations being interrupted.
    
    b.  Spell Penetration  Invocations are subject to spell 
    resistance checks.  You don't want your Wall of Perilous 
    Flame to not work when you really need it, right?
    
    c.  Greater Spell Penetration  I rather not gamble with my 
    chances of invocations being resisted.
    
    d.  Toughness  Extra hit points makes for a happy warlock.
    
    e.  Skill Focus (Concentration)  Again, we are talking 
    about practical issues here.  Never expect to be 
    uninterrupted while casting.  This will help considerably.
    
    The ones you should NEVER get:
    
    a.  Any spell focus feat.  My main problem is that you 
    cannot counterspell with warlocks, so those are only good 
    if you want to see what spells other spell casters are 
    casting.
    
    b.  Battle Caster.  Since you don't get Medium Armor 
    Proficiency for free as a warlock, this feat is kind of 
    useless.  I rather spend my feats on things that help me in 
    other ways or on crafting feats.  There is one exception to 
    this that will be mentioned later (in the multiclassing 
    section).
    
    c.  Medium Armor Proficiency.  Don't get this unless if 
    fall under the one exception for Battle Caster.
    
    d.  Any weapon feat.  You're not going to be using your 
    weapons to kill things.  You're going to be using your 
    invocations to kill things.  
    
    Besides from these, the remaining feat slots can be filled 
    with what suits you the best.  You could probably use one 
    of the feat slots for the crafting feat of your choice.
    
    VI.  How do invocations work?
    -----------------------------
    
    Let's set aside the "lore" of how a warlock gets 
    invocations and go down to the nitty-gritty on how an 
    invocation works.
    
    An invocation has the following properties:
    1.  You may use them as many times as you want.
    2.  Invocations have either a somatic or verbal component, 
    or both.  Therefore, if you are silenced, certain 
    invocations cannot be cast.
    3.  Invocations cannot be used with metamagic.
    4.  Certain invocations can be used alone, but others must 
    be used in conjunction with an eldritch blast.  The blast 
    shape invocations and eldritch essence invocations must be 
    used with an eldritch blast.
    
    The invocations that can be used alone are the low-damage, 
    status-affecting buffs and dispels that you will typically 
    use.  For example, Retributive Invisibility, Beguiling 
    Influence, and Wall of Perilous Flame are examples of this 
    type of invocation.
    
    However, your main source of damage comes from eldritch 
    blasts.  By default, if you cast an eldritch essence 
    invocation, you would cast an eldritch blast that is 
    modified by the eldritch essence.  The default eldritch 
    blast hits one enemy only.
    
    You can modify the blast by adding a blast shape.  A blast 
    shape invocation is an eldritch blast that has a different 
    shape/characteristic to it, which may allow you to hit more 
    targets.  Since the blast shape is an eldritch blast, you 
    can modify blast shapes with eldritch essences.
    
    VII.  Invocations (blast shapes and essences)
    ---------------------------------------------
    
    For discussion of invocations, I'm going to split them up 
    between blast shape/eldritch essences (since they 
    intrinsically go together), and invocations not involving 
    blash shapes/essences.
    
    Least Invocations (Blast Shapes):  One of them is 
    worthless, and one of them is useful.
    
    Hideous Blow  this blast shape is worthless.  If you 
    didn't have to recast it every time you hit a melee attack, 
    this one might actually be useful.  The trouble you incur 
    with this shape makes it not worth it for actual use.
    
    Eldritch Spear  I recommend getting this as one of the 
    first invocations that you get.  This extends the range of 
    an eldritch blast (to 250 feet according to the 
    description).  It's not that impressive considering you 
    really can't tell how far is 250 feet in game, but if you 
    can nail someone from really far away several times before 
    they get into range of the other blast shapes, you make 
    your job a lot easier in the earlier stages of the OC.  
    However, later on, this loses effectiveness as you get 
    eldritch chain later on.
    
    Least Invocations (Essences):  Another worthless one and 
    another good one.
    
    Draining Blast  this is a good essence to use in the 
    beginning and it's probably the second invocation that I 
    get.  What this does is if you hit, the monster must pass a 
    Fortitude check.  If the check fails, the monster is 
    slowed.  The slower the monster, the more blasts you can 
    throw out and the faster you can get to a more defensible 
    position.
    
    Frightful Blast  I don't like this essence because it 
    isn't as useful.  I rather not have to chase after monsters 
    because they're afraid (and risk running into a trap).
    
    Lesser Invocations (Blast Shapes):  The only new blast 
    shape you get with this level of invocation is probably the 
    one you'll use the most through the game.
    
    Eldritch Chain  This blast shape starts out rather 
    modestly.  It has the range of a regular eldritch blast, 
    but after it hits your intended target, it will randomly 
    blast a random being that is within 30 feet from you.  It 
    means that you have the potential of hitting two enemies.  
    At warlock level 10, this is extended to three enemies, 
    four enemies at level 15, and five enemies at level 20.  If 
    you miss any of the enemies, the chain stops.  This isn't 
    as much of a trouble as you may think because by the time 
    you get to a higher level, you should rarely be missing 
    with your ranged touch attacks.  Get this as soon as you 
    have access to the lesser invocations.
    
    Lesser Invocations (Essences):  These aren't 
    disappointments, but you won't be using one of them very 
    long.
    
    Hellrime Blast(a.k.a. the ice blast)  This essence does 
    two things.  One, it modifies your eldritch blast to do 
    cold damage.  Two, it makes everyone you hit do a Fortitude 
    check or take a -4 penalty to Dexterity.  It's 
    indispensable when you have to fight against a lot of 
    rogues (basically when you get into Neverwinter in the OC), 
    but after that, you'll rarely use it.  
    
    Brimstone Blast(a.k.a. the fire blast)  Take your eldritch 
    blast, make it do fire damage, AND make them burn with fire 
    afterwards.  This will be the primary essence you'll use 
    until you get access to the greater invocations.
    
    Beshadowed Blast  This is a nice blast to have under 
    certain circumstances.  I don't use this blast because 
    putting opponents in darkness is not the way I play, but 
    there are potential uses for it.
    
    Greater Invocations (Blast Shapes):  The only new blast 
    shape you get with this level of invocation is useful... 
    until you get access to the dark invocations.
    
    Eldritch Cone  This blast shape says what you think it 
    says.  Your blast is now in the shape of a cone.  It's okay 
    in certain situations, but it has been my experience that 
    enemies don't like attacking you in a way that you will be 
    using this very often.  I would recommend getting this as 
    soon as you have access to it, but dropping it once you get 
    Eldritch Doom.
    
    Greater Invocations (Essences):  Again, we have a nice set 
    of essences; choose one depending on how you play.
    
    Vitrolic Blast(a.k.a. the acid blast)  Take the Brimstone 
    Blast, but make it acid damage.  In addition, make it 
    impossible to counter with spell resistance.  Once you get 
    this, you will end up using this over the Brimstone Blast 
    in most cases.  
    
    Noxious Blast  Take your eldritch blast, make it daze 
    people.  I typically don't use this, but if you like being 
    support, this is a great one to use.
    
    Dark Invocations (Blast Shapes):  This is one good reason 
    why you want to be a pure warlock (or as close to it as you 
    can).
    
    Eldritch Doom  This blast shape is simple.  Target where 
    you want the blast to hit.  Everything within a certain 
    radius is hit.  The radius isn't as big as a Fireball or a 
    Chain Lightning spell, but it's more than adequate for your 
    needs.
    
    Dark Invocations (Essences):  This is a disappointment in 
    the OC, maybe not for multiplayer purposes.
    
    Utterdark Blast  If you hit with this one, the target 
    takes negative energy damage and drains levels.  It sounds 
    nice, but by the time you can get this in the OC, just 
    about every enemy uses this to heal.  It probably works a 
    lot better in a multiplayer situation.  
    
    VII.  Invocations (non-blast shapes or essences)
    ------------------------------------------------
    These function like your typical spell.  As invocations, 
    you may cast these as many times as you wish.  Most of 
    these are supporting spells that make your work a lot 
    easier.
    
    Least Invocations:  A really nice array of things to choose 
    from.  Some of them aren't very useful; others make your 
    life so much easier.
    
    Beguiling Influence  Get this one if you have points in 
    Intimidate (which is what I usually do).  I like talking my 
    way out of situations, so this is a nice thing to get.  
    Even if you don't, this is useful for boosting Diplomacy 
    (good) and Bluff (kind of worthless).
    
    Dark One's Own Luck  Useful in the beginning, not so 
    useful in the end.  I usually either get this or Beguiling 
    Influence.
    
    Darkness  Uhh, no thanks.  This tends to be a frame-rate 
    killer.
    
    Devil's Sight  This has limited usefulness, but if you 
    really wanted what this invocation gives you, play as an 
    Elf, but that's really not a good idea, eh?
    
    Entropic Warding  I like this one.  I usually replace 
    Draining Blast with this invocation later in the game, and 
    watch as the archers have trouble with you as you kill them 
    with an eldritch chain.  It doesn't last that long, but 
    remember that you can recast it and it does last long 
    enough for you to do your business.
    
    Leaps and Bounds  Don't get this even if you have put 
    points in Tumble.  It's not a high enough boost that would 
    make it useful.
    
    Seen the Unseen  I don't recommend this as you'll get 
    things in the OC that give True Seeing.
    
    Lesser Invocations:  Not as good of a selection, but a 
    couple of them are useful.
    
    Charm  No thanks, I'm not out to convert people.  I rather 
    summon my own skeletons.
    
    Curse of Despair  Hmm... do those score reductions really 
    do THAT much over a battle?  Skip this one.
    
    The Dead Walk  In the OC, just let Ammon Jerro use it.  If 
    you're not in the OC, this is an okay one to get; just drop 
    Brimstone Blast or Voracious Dispelling for this.
    
    Voracious Dispelling  Get this one later on in the game.  
    It's a good dispelling invocation; the times which you need 
    to dispel things aren't that frequent, though.  The damage 
    you do on the dispelled creatures doesn't hurt, anyway.
    
    Walk Unseen  You're not a rogue.  No thanks.
    
    Greater Invocations:  Now we're coming to the really 
    offensive invocations.  You only need one of the offensive 
    ones, though.
    
    Chilling Tentacles:  Get either this one or Wall of 
    Perilous Flame.  I prefer Wall of Perilous Flame myself, 
    but this is a good choice too.
    
    Devour Magic:  This is an upgraded version of Voracious 
    Dispelling.  You can get this; just drop Eldritch Cone.  I 
    personally find Voracious Dispelling enough for my 
    purposes, though.
    
    Tenacious Plague:  This one tends to be a wildcard.  Get it 
    if you want; you'll probably find uses for it that I 
    couldn't find.
    
    Wall of Perilous Flame:  One of my very favorites; this is 
    the 3rd greater invocation that I get.  You can pretty much 
    single-handedly do the last part of the Crossroad Keep 
    siege with this and Eldritch Doom.  What's even better, the 
    magical damage this does (not the fire damage portion) 
    cannot be resisted without spell resistance.
    
    Dark Invocations:  When they said warlocks were more 
    resilient than sorcerers or wizards, they must have been 
    talking about one of the invocations here.
    
    Dark Foresight  Once you get access to dark invocations, 
    GET THIS FIRST.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  Have this hotkeyed at all 
    times.  This gives 10/adamantine damage reduction (not 
    30/adamantine as in the manual) with a pool of 10 points 
    per warlock level.  This is basically the Stoneskin spell, 
    but you can cast this as many times as you want, unlike 
    sorcerers or wizards.  This is what will allow you to cast 
    your eldritch blasts with impunity.
    
    Retributive Invisibility  Don't get this for the 
    retributive part.  Get it for the invisibility (which isn't 
    broken by invocations or attacking).  It only lasts 3 
    rounds, which is a handicap, but you just need to recast 
    this, anyway.
    
    Word of Changing  I got this, and it's almost totally 
    worthless.  Avoid this at all costs.
    
    IX.  Skills to get
    ------------------
    If you went with my suggestion of 12 INT, you should have 3 
    points to use per level.  I used it on Concentration, 
    Intimidate, and Lore, plus one point in Use Magic Device.
    
    Consider getting the following:
    
    Concentration  This is a no-brainer.  Don't blame me if 
    you fail to put points in it and have your invocations 
    interrupted.
    
    Intimidate  I like talking my way out of battles.  
    Diplomacy would have worked better for my style of playing, 
    but it's a cross-class skill for warlocks, and this isn't.
    
    Lore  I don't like having to go to shop to identify stuff, 
    and I rather not shuffle things around to someone who can 
    identify stuff.
    
    Use Magic Device  Just get one point in this.  This with 
    Deceive Item will allow you to use most things out there 
    for wizards and sorcerers.  If you need more points in 
    this, take them out of Lore or Intimidate.
    
    Tumble  If you don't get Intimidate, consider putting it 
    into this cross-class skill.  In that case, you'll end up 
    getting the Leaps and Bounds invocation as well.
    
    Spellcraft - If you're taking the character to the
    expansion pack, Spellcraft is required.  If not, you can
    leave this alone.  If you do take this skill, raise your
    starting INT to 14 so you can take this.
    
    X.  Thoughts on multiclassing
    ------------------------------
    
    Let's talk about minor multiclassing.  The warlock is 
    almost worthless as a minor multiclass character because 
    warlock levels don't count as arcane caster levels, and 
    simply said, warlocks aren't very powerful in the 
    beginning.
    
    Minor multiclasses that might work is Rogue 19/Warlock 1 or 
    Ranger 19/Warlock 1 or Monk 19/Warlock 1 to get Leaps and 
    Bounds (for the +4 DEX and +4 Tumble).
    
    As for major multiclasses with warlock as the dominant 
    class, remember that the warlock's power and resilience 
    comes by having access to the dark invocations.  It's 
    usually best to go pure warlock, but if you're willing to 
    drop one dark invocation and the additional energy 
    resistance, you can go Warlock 19/Fighter 1 or Warlock 
    19/Barbarian 1 to get medium armor proficiency and martial 
    weapon proficiency for free.  If you do this, be sure to 
    get the Battle Caster feat. 
    
    XI.  Equipment
    --------------
    There's a dearth of good warlock-only equipment in the OC.  
    As NWN2 relies on crafting skills for good armor and 
    equipment, I suggest focusing on your armor class when 
    choosing equipment.  What I did was take the leather armor 
    that I got at the very beginning, and upgrading it to +5 
    enhancement, 30/- cold resistance, and 30/- fire 
    resistance.
    
    As for weapons, use whatever weapon you feel is good for 
    you.  I ended up using one of those nice crossbows that 
    gave +DEX (to boost my armor class).
    
    If you did the Warlock 19/Fighter 1 or Warlock 19/Barbarian 
    1 multiclass, your choice of armor and weapons becomes a 
    lot better.  However, warlocks aren't really designed for 
    melee combat.  
    
    XII.  Final Words
    -----------------
    The warlock class is a disappointment until you get to the 
    later levels, when it becomes almost unstoppable.  Despite 
    all the flaws, it's become one of my favorite classes to 
    play, and I hope it becomes one of your favorite classes 
    too.
       
    ~ The End ~
    PrettyLumiere
    March 7th, 2007